Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Data Archive

Procedures for Acquiring Datasets Collections

ATSIDA has established procedures for acquiring datasets.


Identifying potential acquisitions and seeking information on the contents of datasets. ATSIDA identifies potential datasets through a variety of mechanisms:

  • links with funders
  • publication trawls;
  • conference attendance;
  • user groups, workshops, seminars;
  • links with datasets creators;
  • contact by depositor;
  • recommendation by the Reference Group;
  • consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.


ATSIDA contacts datasets creators and undertakes a process of negotiation to offer a variety of services including:

  • evaluation of a dataset to ensure that it meets the criteria outlined above;
  • advice and information on the deposit process;
  • advice and discussion on contracts, licences, and access conditions;
  • advice on protocols for appropriate management of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities regarding consultation;
  • advice on the appropriate formats for deposit and the method of deposit;
  • advice on the preparation of appropriate documentation and acceptable formats for discussion.

Guidance for depositors

ATSIDA also provides guidance to depositors on appropriate management of material relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities through the Protocols. Publications currently available include:

  • notes and forms for depositors which provide explanatory information on depositing material with ATSIDA, including acceptable formats, preferred methods of datasets delivery, and the metadata requirements;
  • guidelines for documenting datasets, which detail the range and type of information which should be included with all digital materials.

Legal framework

ATSIDA provides a legal framework within which materials may be accessioned into ATSIDA, including:

  • a deposit agreement and licence form which confirms the rights and obligations of both parties and offers an opportunity for depositors to specify the conditions under which access may be given to third parties;
  • discussion of copyright and intellectual property rights to ensure that all necessary copyright issues have been addressed by the datasets depositor;
  • discussion of legal and ethical issues to ensure that the datasets depositor has provided (and, where necessary, obtained) sufficient clearance for ATSIDA to disseminate the resource;
  • negotiation, where necessary, for licence agreements with third parties to enable ATSIDA to distribute the material for the purposes of research, learning and teaching, and repatriation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.


ATSIDA administers the acquisitions and access procedures by:

  • maintaining a database of potential acquisitions which records details of the contact name and address, brief details of the datasets materials and a full record of the contact made and follow-up procedures undertaken;
  • contacting potential depositors in the initial stages of a project which includes an element of datasets creation and providing them with information which informs them about ATSIDA and the procedures for deposit;
  • maintaining regular contact with potential depositors in order to ensure the smooth accession of their material into ATSIDA and to answer any queries they might have;
  • developing strong relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and responding to feedback about archival management issues where appropriate;
  • providing help and additional information where required.